Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?
An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions and save the Paltrian people before the dark menace of Zarua’s past is unleashed?
I actually read and reviewed this book back in November 2018 and remembered thoroughly enjoying it so when I had the opportunity to listen to the audiobook version of it, I just couldn’t resist! For this post, I’ll updated my original review of the story and comment on what I thought of the audiobook, too.
What a great mix of fantasy, magic and mystery this proved to be! The talented author has built a unique version of a medieval style world where there are barons, Kings, wizards, magic and monsters. You can never be certain just who you can trust, especially if you are Paddren, Varnia or Leyoch. Together these three will need to work together to save their land being taken over by evil wizards and will have unexpected assistance from Paddren’s visions if only he can learn to interpret them accurately!
This is told from two time lines, 350 years apart. The historic events are impacting on the present and give an insight into what happened then that is impacting on current events. I’m trying not to give away any spoilers, I’d hate to ruin the story for any other readers! Enough to say it is an enthralling read, with vivid descriptions bringing the scenarios and events to life in the imagination of the reader. There’s plenty of intrigue and mystery to keep you guessing, a forbidden romance and a spectacular finale to resolve it all.
The narrator for the audiobook version has a fantastic, clear and expressive voice for bringing the story to life in the imagination of the reader, making it clear just who is talking and using a variety of cadence to keep the listener engaged and enthralled. Even though I’d read the story and remembered much of what happened (which shows how well written it is) I still listened with eager anticipation to the audiobook version.
The characters are well developed, their angst and turmoil emotively portrayed. The choices, secrets, magic, plots and schemes keep the reader guessing and turning the pages or listening depending on if you are reading it or listening to the audiobook version. If you enjoy fantasy or mysteries this is a story that may well appeal to you, too!
I requested and was gifted a copy of this audiobook and this is my honest opinion after choosing to listen to it.
Author Bio –
Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.
She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.
She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.
Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.
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Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing materials for this post and organising the tour it is part of. The review is my honest opinion after choosing to originally read and, more recently, listen to gifted copies of this story.